DES MOINES – MidAmerican Energy Company residential customers who live in Iowa can participate in the Plant Some Shade® program. The program offers customers discount-priced trees to reduce future energy use, landscape properties and green up their neighborhoods.
Plant Some Shade events will be held on Sept. 21, in Des Moines, from 8:30 to 11 a.m., in the south parking lot of the Hoover State Office Building; Sept. 28, in Oskaloosa, from 9 to 11 a.m., at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds; and, Oct. 1, in Sioux City, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the parking lot of the Sioux City Explorers Baseball Park.
Prepayment and advance orders are required. Order forms can be obtained at www.midamericanenergy.com/iowa_plantsomeshade. Orders will be accepted until all trees have been sold.
Strategically placed deciduous trees provide shade on hot summer days, easing the cooling load on air conditioners or heat pumps. Trees planted on the west side of a house provide the most benefit. Additionally, conifer trees planted as windbreaks help protect the home from blustery Iowa winter winds thus reducing the energy needed for heating.
Plant Some Shade is a partnership initiative to aid long-term energy and natural resource conservation. The program is funded by MidAmerican Energy and administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry, with three local partners: Mahaska County Extension, Polk County Conservation and Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.
Plant Some Shade offers MidAmerican Energy’s residential customers the ability to purchase up to two, 2- to 3-foot conifers and 6- to 8-foot landscaping trees for $30 each. A variety of trees are available, including two or three varieties of shade trees, a low-growing ornamental tree and a conifer.
“Encouraging residents to plant trees in their yard is an effective way to reduce energy costs and also promote a healthy and aesthetically pleasing environment,” said Tina Yoder, MidAmerican Energy’s manager, energy efficiency. “Strategically planted trees provide year-round protection of homes from the elements and that means energy savings. Plant Some Shade helps our customers save energy.”
Tree recipients are given instructions on how to plant and care for their trees, including safety information regarding the need to call 811 before digging to check for underground power lines. In addition, it is important to choose a tree that fits the site characteristics so that it will not grow into overhead power lines or buildings.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for homeowners to get a quality tree at an affordable price,” said Matt Brewer, partnership coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry. “Fall is an ideal time to plant new trees. The season’s warm days and cool nights are excellent for root growth.”